Diamond is the strongest natural mineral known by a man on earth. Diamond is a solid form of carbon with a diamond cubic crystal structure.
Four types used of diamond mining techniques are- Open-pit mining, hard-rock mining, alluvial mining, and the marine diamond mining as the latest technique, all of which leave damaging effects on the earth, sometimes irreversible.
There are three main uses of diamonds:- Industrial, investment, Fashion. Industrial diamonds are valued mostly for their hardness and thermal conductivity, making many of the gemological characteristics of diamonds, such as the 4 Cs, irrelevant for most applications.
80% of mined diamonds approximately 135,000,000 carats (27,000 kg) annually are unsuitable for use as gemstones and are used industrially. The consumer demand for larger diamonds continue, the extraction process is becoming increasingly complex and costly to the environment. Each year, over 150 million carats of diamonds are extracted from the Earth through mining.
Gold and diamond mining create extreme environmental damage including logging and removing 1750 tone of the earth to mine a 1.0ct diamond, however, there is also the contamination resulting from leakage of chemicals affect the health of the local population. Diamond mining companies insert large amounts of ammonia under the lake beds to help extract minerals. This harms the fish that live there.
These toxic chemicals pollute the air in the area and also contaminate surrounding lakes. These toxic chemicals from the mines may also end up in Yellowknife or neighbouring communities due to wind carrying the pollutants.
In addition, diamond mining faces challenges relating to energy use and emissions which can contribute to the global climate change.